How to Clear Clogged Gutters

How to Clear Clogged Gutters

How to Clear Clogged Gutters

Sometimes a clogged gutter can be easily cleared with a few simple steps.

Your gutters are a crucial part of your roofing systems and play an important role in carrying water away from the foundation of your home. If they are clogged, water will simply run out of the gutter and begin pooling around your home, potentially causing devastating structural damage.

Ideally you should inspect your gutters every spring and fall as the seasons change to ensure they are functioning properly. Look for cracks along the pipes of your gutter systems, tearing at the seams, and for peeling and bubbling paint as these can all be signs of problems with your system.

If your gutters become clogged you must clear them or risk water damage to your home and its foundation. Telltale signs that you have a clog are: water spilling over the edges and water not flowing out of the downspouts.

Start by checking the place where the gutter connects to the downspout to see if the downspout cage, a wire strainer designed to catch debris, is in place and remove any debris that might be there. Check the gutter itself for any obvious blockages from leaves or twigs and remove those items.

If the clog appears to be in the downspout it may by in an elbow or seam area. You should be able to tap the downspout with a metal object and if you hear a muffled thud as opposed to a hollow ring, you may have just located the clog. You may need to remove the downspout to work the clog out. If that is the case, be sure to reattach it firmly and securely after you have cleared the blockage.

If all of your DIY efforts fail, it’s time to contact a professional roofing contractor to assess the situation and provide a recommendation for a solution. 

How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming

How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming

How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming

Icicles and ice dams might be pretty glistening in the sun, but they can cause extensive water damage to your home. Learn how to prevent them.

Ice dams happen because melting snow pools behind dams of ice at the roof’s edge causing water to leak into the house. As snow melts, water runs down toward the edge of the roof and as temperature drop at night, it refreezes, causing beautiful formations of ice and icicles. While they may be pretty to the eye, they can be devastating to the structure of your home, not to mention the damage they cause to your gutter system.

The good news is that ice dams are preventable. Ensuring that your roof has an effective ventilation system in the attic is effective at preventing these ice formations as it will help keep the roof sheathing cool. Your attic should also have sufficient insulation as that will slow down the flow of heated air to the underside of the roof. Keeping the roof cool, doesn’t allow for the snow to melt as quickly.

If you are installing a new roof, be sure to ask your contractor about ice and water barriers that are installed along the roof edges. Ice and water barriers are special underlayments designed to protect against ice damming.

A roof rake is an option to clear the snow from the roof before ice damming has a chance to occur. Remember never to use a roof rake while on a ladder and always be safety conscious while using one. Another option for preventing ice dams is to have heat cables installed along the roof edge and into the gutter and downspout.

Ice dams themselves aren’t the problem, it’s the leaks that result from them. If you do see an ice dam on your roof and no sign of a leak, you may not need to do anything except take preventive measure after the weather warms. If you do see signs of leaking call a professional roofing contractor to come out and get rid of the ice. Don’t try to remove it yourself as you risk breaking or puncturing shingles. Your contractor can review options with you for future prevention.